By Jake Liddle
Between the months of June and September, Shanghai companies with outdoor labor must take measures to maintain a workplace temperature of less than 33 degrees Celsius, 91 degrees Fahrenheit. Employers who fail to meet this minimum must pay a monthly high temperature allowance of RMB 200 to employees in addition to their salaries and provide cool beverages.
Twenty-eight regions of China have implemented measures for the summer high temperature allowance; only the more temperate provinces of Heilongjiang, Tibet and Qinghai do not require the allowance. Each region’s stipulations are different, with some calculating allowances per day and some per month.
Many laborers complain that they do not receive the allowance, despite the hot weather, which last summer reached temperatures as hot as 40 degrees Celsius, 104 degrees Fahrenheit, in some areas. Many companies are too concerned about costs, making them reluctant to pay out allowances, and in some cases exploit loopholes.
Employees have the right to file a complaint if an employer fails to pay, but rarely do in fear of repercussions. In many cases, employees aren’t even aware of the allowance.
Standards for each region are set for a general benchmark of 33 degrees indoors and 35 degress outdoors, unless otherwise stated.
About the author: This article originally appeared in China Briefing, a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email [email protected] or visit www.dezshira.com.